Gift Ideas for Traveling Kids

When it comes to birthdays and holidays, we try to limit the amount of stuff we buy and instead go on a family trip.  That said, we have a 5 year old who loves receiving gifts as most kids do.  So we try to combine the two by buying her travel appropriate toys and things she can use on the plane/for traveling.  Here are some of our favorites!

Stocking Stuffers

These items are small and would make great stocking stuffers.  They are also excellent entertainment for the plane or hotel room!

  1. I recently discovered this awesome, tiny little cheese cube lacing puzzle that kept Milana entertained for quite some time! Even though it’s advertised for younger kids, my 5 year old loves this.  It’s super tiny too and perfect for travel.41nrjyDRobL
  2. This buckle toy will keep even the smallest travelers entertained!

91pqQKtrkJL._SX522_

3.  Melissa and Doug makes some of our favorite travel items.  This tape activity book is the perfect size for travel.  The scissors skill pad is a huge hit with Milana as well.  And the new chalk activity book has been a hit as well!

4. Some other favorites by Melissa and Doug (and suitable for even the youngest toddlers) are their Water Wow books. There are so many themes to choose from, you are bound to find one your child will love.

91u+voMewSL._SL1500_

5.  Another huge hit with Milana are the puffy sticker activity books.  Just like the Water Wow books, there are many different themes to choose from.  Puffy stickers are great for tiny hands because they are so much easier to peel than traditional stickers.

91L0uVcKmQL._SL1500_

6.  This Peaceable Kingdom airport sticker tote is the perfect little play set for little travelers.

71ZnlJVuntL._SL1200_

7.  Quite possibly our favorite travel toy are Wikki Stix.  These are amazing! You can make pretty much anything you can imagine. They are small and compact, so they won’t take up much space in your bag.  If you haven’t tried them, get some today!

71Wm8sYON6L._SL1000_

8.  Being a frequent flyer, Milana loves collecting all the different die cast version of airplanes we’ve been on.  The options are endless and the way they are played with is totally up to the child’s imagination.

9. This magnetic cars, planes and trains tin is small and compact and perfect to bring on the plane.

81K2klVGzsL._SL1500_

10.  For the tiniest travelers, these links are the best thing ever! They may even entertain older kiddos!

81I4czFw78L._SX522_

11.  We all know what happens to crayons when your child drops one on the plane-they roll away and are never seen again!  This is why we travel with triangular crayons.  They won’t roll off the table and you won’t be on your hands and knees trying to find that red crayon that your child just has to have!

91VIRsYxhyL._SL1500_

12.  Crayola Color Wonder makes all sorts of mess-free travel kits.  From markers that only work on their paper to mess free paint, these are really great for travel.

81qO0WdK9kL._SY679_13.  Create A Scene Magnetic Playsets come in many themes and are compact, making them perfect for travel.

Big Gifts

  1.  We got Milana an Osprey Jet 12 backpack when she was around 4.  It fits little bodies perfectly and being an Osprey bag, the quality is great.  On the upside, she knows that she will have to carry whatever she packs so she has been more mindful and no longer overpacks!

818YnBfA58L._SL1500_

2.  One of the best and most used travel items we have discovered this year is the Trayblecloth. It slips over the airplane tray and has pockets to store crayons/snacks/etc. so they don’t get lost during the flight. You’re able to close the tray easily with the cover on and the upside is your child can eat a snack without touching the dirty plane trays that rarely get cleaned.  If I had to suggest one must have for traveling parents, it would be this!

3.  Let everyone know your little one is a traveler by getting them this world traveler shirt! They come in infant onesie sizes as well.

4.  You can never go wrong with travel themed books! I created a separate post listing books by region which you can visit by clicking on the link.

5.  If your child is too young for a backpack or prefers rolling luggage, there are many options for them! Heys makes some great quality luggage for even the littlest travelers, with many colors and characters to choose from.   Another fun one for kids is the Zinc Flyte Luggage Scooter.  Another popular one for kids is the Trunki ride on suitcase.

6.  A must have, especially on long flights, is a leg rest pillow.  Our preferred one is the 1st Class Kid Travel Pillow but there are many other brands.  This has allowed Milana to sleep for 8+ hours on long haul flights, completely stretched out!  It folds up super small when not in use and doesn’t require a pump (just more to carry) to inflate it.

41vIlIGm6-L

7. Kids need neck pillows too but finding one that works for little ones is not easy!  Our favorite is the Trunki brand one that comes with a magnetic closure.  It fits little necks perfectly!

815C3dUMdOL._SX522_

8.  For little builders, this Zoob BuilderZ travel set is great entertainment either on the plane or hotel room!  This is one of our favorite, open-ended toys.

719mklc1dfL._SL1500_

9.  Though most kids won’t get excited when they receive a car seat or stroller as a gift, it’s a must for travel!  The Joovy Groove Ultralight makes the perfect travel stroller. It’s super lightweight, has a kickstand so it stands upright on its own and has a high weight limit of 55 lbs (most strollers only go up to 44 or less).

Having a separate car seat for travel is a good idea too. At home, we have a very heavy Radian and Britax Frontier so for travel, we got the Safety 1st Guide 65 seat.  It’s light and has a 40 lb. rear facing limit and 65 forward facing. Keep this in mind when looking for a travel seat.  Many of the ones recommended only forward face up to 40 lbs. so you won’t get much use out of them at all. At nearly 6, Milana still uses this seat.

And if you have older kids (at least 4 and 40 lbs) and won’t be using the car much except for taxis or Uber, I highly recommend the mifold seat.  I can’t tell you how much use we have gotten out of it this year in so many different countries!  It folds up super small, so you can easily stick it into your backpack.

10.  Traveling with straw cups is not recommended, as they will leak and cause a huge water explosion when the plane is in the air due to the pressure.  We love Rehydrate Pro bottles because they are leak proof, made out of stainless steel and keep your water cold for hours!  Another favorite in this house is the PlanetBox Bottle Rocket.  We have a few of these and they are great for air travel.

11.  Scratch off maps are a great way to teach kids about the world and to show them where their next destination will be. This world map is our favorite and we also have one for the United States as well.

12.  Another fun, educational toy is this interactive globe.

81NO+PK+ajL._SL1500_

13.  Kid size headphones are a must for tiny travelers and our favorite are the Kidz Gear ones.  Unlike most kid headphones, these have an optional volume control cable so you can remove it and use it at regular volume.  This is important to note because volume control headphones will be impossible to hear over the loud cabin noise inside the plane! We have been using these since Milana was around 18 months old and at nearly 6, they are as good as new.  They are pretty indestructible, toss them into their backpack and you are good to go!

61nINbNw4qL._SL1500_

14.  If you’ve never tried playfoam you are missing out! I highly recommend buying this party pack. Each one comes individually wrapped in a small container. This is the perfect toy for the plane! Leaves no mess behind and kids can create so many different things.

Small packs of Play Doh with a few small tools are great too! And when you use it with the Trayblecloth mentioned above, it’s perfect since the cover has a plastic covering on top of it.

15.  For kids who are preschool aged and older, Peaceable Kingdom Games to Go are super fun!

16.  Aqua Doodle makes a travel version of their awesome mat which is really fun for even the youngest kids.

71a2m1-wBnL._SL1500_

17.  Map puzzles are some of Milana’s favorites! We have quite a few in our house but our favorites are Melissa and Doug ones.  Janod makes a great world map puzzle as well, though it is best for older kids since it has over 200 pieces.

18.  Not really a travel toy since it’s big, but this Playmobil Jet is one of Milana’s favorite toys at home!  She’s also asking for this Playmobil plane which she may get this year for Christmas.

19.  Two other fun travel related toys are the Hello Kitty Jet and the new Shopkins Plane.

20.  If your child has one of the popular American Girl dolls (or another 18 inch doll), this doll travel set is a perfect gift! It comes with a cute little suitcase, complete with all kinds of travel accessories including a passport.

91pKAGzUfAL._SL1500_.jpg

21.  Another fantastic gift for older kids is this Brainbox World Game.  Also, the Scrambled States game is perfect for older kids as well.

 

22.  For younger ones, this interactive globe puzzle is perfect!

81n+L9eulkL._SL1500_.jpg

23. This geography bingo game is fun for the whole family. Kids as young as 4 can play!

715+Pu+QsTL._SL1280_.jpg

24.  Flags of the world is another fun game. While it’s intended for kids ages 8 and up, Milana loves this at 5. She’s obsessed with flags and if your child is too, this is perfect!

71PBRdl7KHL._SL1063_

25.  Lego makes this super cute tiny suitcase.  Perfect for those Lego loving kiddos!

515O-5VwcuL

26. Travel Journals are great for older kids to keep track of all their travel memories.

51lWfF+FvxL.jpg

27.  If your child travels with an iPad, I highly recommend this case. It’s durable and has lasted us a few years now! Many drops later, the iPad is as good as new.

71IIy0O3mML._SL1200_

28.  If you’re feeling extra generous, a tablet makes the perfect gift.  There are several options to choose from, the cheapest being the Amazon Kids Fire Tablet.  We personally prefer Apple products and Milana has an iPad Pro. Another popular one is the Samsung Galaxy Tablet which is much cheaper than the iPad and a little more than the fire.

29.  As a photographer who constantly takes travel photos, I now have a child who is obsessed with photography.  I am not about to hand her my camera which is worth several thousand dollars, so she has her own.  There are a few options for kid cameras.  Some are marketed for kids and virtually indestructible, like the Vtech Kidizoom and the Discovery Kids camera.  I gave Milana one of our old point and shoots, and she’s happy with it.  If you don’t want to get a kid specific one, something like the Sony W800 will work and is cheap enough to not cry over if your child drops it!

30.  If your child is anything like mine, they love to snack especially on the plane! For portability reasons, we love Yumbox.  It’s the perfect size for travels, with different compartments so you can fill it with all kinds of things.  I’ve seen people buy tackle boxes at Walmart with the separate compartments and I cringe every time I see a child eating out of that. Those say right on the label that they are not intended for food and contain BPA and other chemicals. Yumbox is BPA and phthalate free, making it a safe option for food products.  If you need snack ideas, see my what to pack for the plane post and scroll down to the snack section.

Another lunchbox we love is made by Lunchbots.  At home we use Planet Box but I think they are way too heavy for travel.

As you can see, there are lots of gift options for little travelers!  The best experience you can give is the gift of experience.  Book a trip, go to your local zoo or even just the playground.  Making memories is something your kids will cherish for years to come!

This post contains affiliate links. 

Advertisements

27 comments

  1. This is a truly amazing resource here for all parents that take their kids on travel adventures. I am so impressed with the sheer variety, research and thought that has gone into creating this. The practical thoughts behind travel such as magnetic games and simple things like triangular crayons make for a much more pleasant travel experience without having to constantly search for missing items. Such a great idea to combine some of these ideas into Christmas presents that then can be beneficial for when you travel.

    Like

  2. I don’t have a kid yet but I intend to take them with me if I travel in the future. The activity book is something that I would want for my child. But all these ideas are great – fun but educational too!

    Like

  3. The traytablecloth is an excellent idea, I wonder if there’s one for adults! I hate touching dirty airplanes so I’d invest in one. These are all great gift ideas for mini travellers. I’m far too old, but I’d like the sticker and magnet set too!

    Like

  4. I like the fact that you combined the gifting idea with travel. I like those cool T shirts. The travel pillow looks cool as well. Map puzzles is my favourite too. I had one when I was growing up. I might gift some of these to my nephews and nieces.

    Like

  5. Milana seems to be a lucky kid to have great parents like you. I don’t have any kid but I’ve always been a fan of any thing ‘Hello Kitty.’ Even as a teenager, I stocked my wardrobe with Hello Kitty tees. With these toys, there’d be no boring time when traveling.

    Like

  6. I remember being a fan of the puffy sticker book when I was a kid! Sweet memories… The world traveler onesie looks so so adorable! The backpack looks great too! The stroller is a great gift for young parents!

    Like

  7. I don’t have kids, so I wonder at what point do children start to appreciate experiences over stuff. At any rate, it would seem like giving them a backpack to haul the toys they want would be a good way to cut down on luggage size. Only take what you can carry!

    Like

  8. Those trunki rides are the BEST. My husband and I are planning to have a baby in the next year or two so this list is gonna come in handy. I loved those sticker books when I was a kid haha

    Like

  9. Triangular crayons blew my mind! I also really liked that the girl is already carrying her own stuff, making her mindful of what she is taking with her while traveling. I honestly didn’t know there are so many options to keep kids entertained that is not Tablets.

    Like

  10. Is it bad that I got all excited when I saw the puffy sticker books? Also… you’ve seen feet on tray tables? How does anyone even do the gymnastics required for that to happen?

    Like

  11. Wow, so many entertaining gifts for little ones. I love the buckle toy idea, it would work for my one year old also. Hmm, time for some purchases 🙂

    Like

  12. These are all great ideas! I am with you in saving up some gift money in order to travel. However, I know kids like to get something once in a while. I like you suggestions since they keep the educational / creative purpose in mind. I love the panda suitcase!

    Like

  13. It’s amazing how advanced toys have become since I was a kid. Even though I don’t have kids, these are great gifts to share with my friends who are parents!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s